SZV announces new hospital back on track
PHILIPSBURG– The development of the new general hospital is back on schedule as VAMED
and SZV have settled all disputes out of court. The appeal procedures on the injunction ruling of
November 26, 2016 in the case initiated by VAMED against SZV will be dismissed by both
The settlement agreement amount covers the direct and indirect costs, and interest made in
connection with the preparation for the Tender procedure, the outcome of the Tender procedure
and the court procedures. Both parties see the need for a new general hospital for St. Maarten.
The outcome of any appeals rulings, which could take months or years, would result in the
delayed development of a new general hospital. With this settlement, SMMC and INSO can
immediately continue with the development of the New Hospital for St. Maarten. This settlement
has been accepted by the various parties of the Tripartite, being SZV, St. Maarten Medical
Center (SMMC) and the Ministry of Health VSA.
“SZV had appealed the judge ruling in December 2016. We do believe that our case is a strong
one, but in the end there are no ‘winners’, only losers if a new hospital cannot be built in time for
our people. This settlement with VAMED, who we did invite to bid along with others, allows us to
move forward with the plans to improve health care services on St. Maarten.” stated a press
Director of SZV Glen Carty said,” This will reduce our expenses for referrals abroad and bring
health care close to home which is in the interest of our patients and their families. Having a new
and improved General Hospital will also mean less of a logistical issue for SZV to arrange travel,
housing, daily allowance, and our patients don’t have to deal with the language barrier,
immigration issues and many other issues. The manageable cost of the settlement vs. an annual
NAf 30 million on medical referrals is for us a win.”
The settlement amount will not become an additional expense for SZV, as SZV is only advancing
this amount which will be incorporated into the project budget of the new general hospital that
has the regular provisions for unexpected costs under miscellaneous, according to SZV.
SMMC is responsible for the construction of the New Hospital, not SZV. The Tripartite will now
start to finalize the financing for the project; which had been initiated in 2016 but was halted due
to the verdict of the court case between SZV and Vamed. The total project delay is limited to
approximately three months. It is expected that project financing will be approved within one to
In a joint statement VAMED said, “We are in the business of health care and positively impacting
health care services around the world. We wish the people of St. Maarten the quick construction
of a new facility that will offer state of the art medical services.”
SMMC and INSO signed the design, build and maintenance contract for the new hospital in
September of 2016. The new hospital will be able to expand its services to better serve patients
in St. Maarten, Saba, Sint Eustatius, the neighboring islands and tourists requiring medical
attention in the new specialisms such as urology, neurology, orthopedics, hematology,
ophthalmology and pulmonology in addition to specialties we already have. Capacity demands
will be less of an issue as 110 beds will be available and a medivac heliport will also be on-site at
the new facility.
Kees Klarenbeek, Director SMMC added in the statment, “Our patients and staff deserve better,
we are all eager and ready for a new hospital. We continue to stress the importance because the
quality of care available for our community relies on it. Being able to pick up where we left off and
make this project a reality is great news. SMMC is and always has been fully committed to the
realization of a new hospital and we are happy that despite the setback we can move forward on
a positive note.”
Additional facilities of the new hospital will include; four state of the art operating theaters
including one with a (limited) heart intervention lab, a dedicated dialysis center, telemedicine for
diagnosis and treatment by specialists abroad.
Minister Emil Lee said on Thursday, “I am happy that the development process for the new
hospital will continue as previously planned. We have encountered a delay due to the court
proceedings but the result of SZV and VAMED coming to a settlement sets the project back on
track to serve the needs of the people of the Island.
“All parties understand that we cannot continue to spend money on disputes and claims while a
population suffers in the background, thus the settlement is clearly in favor of the people of St
Maarten. No matter how you evaluate the decision, settling the legal dispute out of court is in the
best interests of the people,” stated the minister.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/64795-szv-announces-new-hospital-back-on-track-2